Francis Ngannou has sensationally threatened to quit the UFC just says after defending his heavyweight title.
'The Predator' took on French fighter Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270 on Saturday night, and after two tight opening rounds, duly out-wrestled his challenger to take an unanimous points win.
Prior to the clash, Gane had never been put on his back en route to a perfect 10-0 MMA record, only for the Cameroonian to execute three take-downs – including a brutal body slam – to retain the title he won by beating Stipe Miocic back in March.
However, no sooner had Ngannou, 35, taken his career record to 17-3, that fresh doubts were being cast over his future after UFC supremo Dana White opted against the customary act of entering the cage to place the belt around the champion's waist.
White, 52, was also notably absent from the post-fight press conference.
Tensions between the President and Ngannou have been simmering for months, with the latter having been scathing over his current contract terms, whilst also publicly touting himself to switch combat sports and face Tyson Fury in a heavyweight boxing bout.
Indeed, his latest win earned him $600,000 (£445,335), prompting Fury, who made $6 million (£4.45 million) just for winning his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder in October, to tweet Ngannou telling him to come and see him if he wants "to make some real money."
Ngannou however, told MMA Hour his grievances weren't just financial.
“The money was tempting, it was good, but this is not just about money,” he said.
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“Just money cannot fix this situation. I don’t believe that.
“The term of the contract, everything that they put into, they hold you in captivity.
“You can’t do anything. You have no rights. The contract is one-sided, although you still don’t have nothing. You don’t even have health insurance, even while you’re putting your body on the line to provide to put on the show.
“You’re risking everything. There’s a lot of things. We have no insurance. Nothing. No guarantee, which I understand as an independent contractor, but treat me as such, if I am."
Ngannou added the UFC held the "power to just destroy" fighters, and despite claiming to be unfazed by White's post-fight snub, refused to commit to further defences of his title.
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